Bill Lowers Fines For Littering

Now headed to House Floor

January 25, 2018 - 2:10 pm


A bill designed to lower fines for littering is headed to the House floor.

Thursday the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee voted unanimously to forward a bill to amend the state’s 1976 littering law.

The bill lowers the fines for littering from $450 to be determined on the weight of the litter. Weight also defines the amount of litter pick-up community service required.

Representative Chandra Dillard, D – Greenville, said the bill’s intent is to change littering behaviors in South Carolina by “using reverse psychology.”

“We found that our litter fines were so high compared to maybe the offense here in South Carolina, so our officers or those litter patrol folks who are out there were sometimes reluctant to write a $450 ticket for a cigarette butt,” she said. “To change behavior, we need to look at reducing those fines so that when people do violate the law and litter, then an officer will feel more inclined to write the ticket.”

“We believe that fines now actually fit better with the type of litter and the adjoining community service hours,” she said.

The bill is designed to require community service trash pickup where the infraction occurred, based on the weight of the litter.

“We want them to pick up the litter as part of the service for the violation for what they did,” Dillard said.


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